Adapted Play from THE FROG AND THE NIGHTINGALE by Vikram Seth
Narrator: This is a story, of a frog so sly;
he could trick all his poor supper flies
and how his voice he thought to be prodigious;
was to others sore and outrageous.
Frog: RIBBIT RIBBIT RIBBIT RIBBIT RIIIIIBBBBIIITTTTT!!
This sumac tree and all abode; My song is ready Are the branches bowed?
For all who sit on it and hear; my songs of gold will surely cheer!
Crow: Oh! What a pain! He sings Worse than me! How? OH! How can that ever be?
Swan: Oh dear this creature, so gross and gruesome, i really hope those warts are’nt contagious!
Cricket: Wow I never believed it true; but mr.ugly cannot SING too! Hahaha!
Narrator: But the frog so wrapped in himself; did not spare a thought for the shouts and yelps
Frog: Say what you want I am the best; I will never be put to rest!
My splendid voice is at its best; Gather around, lets put it to test!
(All animals run for cover just as the frog starts singing)
Frog: KooOOAHH KooASH KOOash!
Night Scene-A beatiful nightingale flies to the sumac tree.
Narrator:That night to the bog's wonder and joy;
they saw to the sumac a nightingale fly.
They all knew her as a singer,
for long ago another one had sung here.
And ofcourse they were not let down,
they'd never heard a sweeter sound!
Nightingale: “Sings Beautifully”
Deer: Oh so sweet is that melody, it really makes me a little melancholy!
Cricket: Better! Better than that toad, Oh my god! He was such a bore!
Swan: Bravo! Lovely! Please once more!
We want-We want an encore!
That voice of yours filled me with awe,
better than anthing out of that froggy maw!
Deer: Yes OH yes! Once more we want ;to hear that beautiful chant!
Nightingale: *Flustered* Oh dear oh me..What a pleasure.
I would Love to sing hither!
But oh me oh my dear….
that praise really mattered..
I am so deeply flattered!
(Sometime later) At dawn, cracks of light. Nightingale is settling to go to sleep
Frog (to himself): Ah I see this stupid Ave
Made a mistake grave;
Came to my tree and stole my stage
Now she’ll have to suffer my rage!
But with subtle plans I can
From the bog this birdie, ban!
Frog(to nightingale): Ah pretty bird! What have we here? A singer beyond compare?
Come dear bird come to my tree, there in peace I’ll talk to Thee.
Yes , my dear, yes, I did hear, your songs you sung with skill no fear,
But I saw and felt you lack; a certain force, a certain knack.
I do feel you need some training, from a real artist, no feigning,
Nightingale: Oh skilled frog I feel so faint; do you know some famous name?
I would love to train my voice, and I know you have a point.
I do lack in force and vigour; I have a wish of audience bigger!
Frog: I of course may accept; this job so crucial for your success.
You cannot expect of me ; Though not to charge some fee
For making a singer requires toil; so my plans for you dont foil.
Nightingale: Dear frog am I right to hear; you are a singer? Oh Dear!
This is a coincidence so good to be true, teach me please, will you?
Frog: Yes indeed I think I shall, We will start with a chorale.
Starting tomorrow early morn, we will practice on and on.
Sing with patience sing with ardor; never give up never falter!
Nightingale: Yes yes indeed I will ! When we end please send the bill.
Narrator: So from next day the ave and frog; Sang away in bingle bog.
All the animal and birds thought about the poor bird;
Who though blessed with skill and throat, wasn't given a confident note.
But that night the nightingale;
sang again with might and zeal and again the frog discouraged ;
her talent when she was finished.
Then one day...(Torrential downpour, cold and wet the nightingale looks miserable)
Frog: Ah, Look what glorious weather ;Come to the top, we will sing hither.
Nightingale(shivering): Oh dear frog how can our throats;
sustain in this harsh downpour?
I for one cannot sing;
in this distracting din!
Frog:*With rage*Stupid bird are you in earnest? Is my suffering all just a waste?
For with your brainless banter, who in the world will be your master?
Nightingale: Mr.Frog, forgive my folly, I really am very sorry.
I consent to follow direction, I really will take action.
Narrator: So the stupid bird once more; sang in rain till she was sore.
Gladly though after some rest; she was again at her best.
That night too the bog filled with creatures; they came with families to see the feature!
Frog: nightingale you really must, pay attention and trust ;
my advice and discretion, you must pay heed to my beckon.
And dear bird high notes are nice, only normal tones do not suffice!
What I say you must heed, my advice you need, to succed.
Narrator: Day and night she sang and sang
Her days were filled with breathless pangs,
The stands were filled with famous crowds
Who, for her songs cheered aloud.
Owl of sandwich: What a sweet voice I hear
it is soothing to the ear!
Coot of monte cristo:Lovely lovely is this tune
Really her voice is her boon.
Frog(to himself): How poor is their taste
In music they dont have a base.
Or of course they would find
this idiot’s shrill voice too high.
Frog(to nighingale): dear oh dear just hear you cry
why cant you sing? Oh! Why?
Money nowdays is hard to get
you owe me lots of money for the rest
Nightingale: I sing all day I sing all night
Still have’nt I filled you pocket light?
Look hard mr. Frog look hard.
I think you have a hole to be barred.
Frog: I think I know what is to be done
you and me have just begun!
Take a deep breath, make it big
and for god’s sake, Sing well you fig!
Nightingale: yes yes sir, I will- I will try
Please don’t scold, I feel I will cry.
I will take a long passionate gasp
I really hope I dont rasp.
Narrator: and that my friends was her end
She took a breath too long too deep
Conveyed her to eternal sleep
For too hard! Too hard she tried
Burst a vein, An then died.
And then the wicked evil frog
Lone again in bingle bog
sang from dusk until dawn
his foghorn blared on and on!